UPMC: Highmark overstated cash reserves by nearly 50%

The feud between UPMC and Highmark Health continues, as the two Pittsburgh-based health giants argue over Highmark's finances.

In a Jan. 19 letter to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, UPMC claims Highmark Health inflated the amount of money it has set aside to pay claims by nearly 50 percent. In the letter, C. Talbot Heppenstall, UPMC's treasurer, claims Highmark overstated its policyholder surplus by at least $1.75 billion in a regulatory filing in September, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Highmark fired back against UPMC's allegations. Highmark spokeswoman Lynn Seay told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that UPMC's letter "clearly exhibits UPMC's continued self-interest and focus on eliminating competition in Western Pennsylvania." Ms. Seay said Highmark is financially strong.

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that its consultant believes the numbers submitted by Highmark are correct, and the letter from UPMC has not prompted a second look at the information Highmark submitted.

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